Sunday, May 26, 2024


20" Pond yacht sail boat first float test.

Keel epoxied in place and hull coated with thinned varnish for this test. Keel also painted with rust preventive paint. Two coats.

Top photo, float seems fine. The bottom photo has deck pinned in place, but I will go with a 3/4" western red cedar deck. Lighter in weight, also.

The bottom of the bow is shaped up and I am not sure if the bow needs some weight or if it is fine. I hate to add weight I cannot remove if I am wrong.

Generally speaking, I am happy. 

The model floats higher in the water than I had expected. Surprised at the buoyancy.



We have been in east Texas for 4 years and I cannot remember seeing yucca plants in bloom. We happened on these mid-week on an off-road excursion. 

The fields, full of these blooming plants were gorgeous and I doubt that the photos captures the grandeur and lush abundance of these indigenous plants.



Yep, that time of the season again.


Behind in posting. 

We were sent to the storm shelter last twice last week. "Tornado warning near our location, get to shelter immediately."

Takes us about a minute to move from the house to the shelter. Nasty, hard pelleting rain and a rotational radar touch down in Scroggins. Then, about an hour later, another radar rotational touchdown indicated in Purley. I looked at power outages around Scroggins and, sure enough, over a thousand outages so something happened there.

We find this wearing. Tornados are not taken lightly for obvious reasons. Stress levels are higher and at the end of our day, even more so. When I am tired, I am not a nice person. The good news is that I recognize this now and try a little harder to mitigate my pissy attitude towards things with which I do not want to deal. 

Today a 105 degree heat index. Not even June yet. High humidity along with temperatures in the low 90s drains my energy in moments. I am again reminded of all of this as this new summer season approaches.

Adjustments to long hot summer setting in. Morning passing thunderstorm just now changed lawn mowing plans and other yard chores.

Is this what it takes to sit myself down and get this post posted?


This past week: 

A good check up for her and I from the dentist's office and a good eye exam for me to boot. Our local optometrist has literally saved the deterioration of my eyesight. OTC eye health vitamins, prescription eye drops, Vitamin D with K2, lots of water every day with electrolytes and a diet full of fresh vegetables, fruits and low carb meals.  

Short version, the benefits of a healthy diet are paying off in the reports I am getting from eye scans and blood work. Numbers are improving dramatically and I am feeling much better over all. 

My optometrist and local doctors both have given me thumbs' up for following their advice and acting on the new regimen. Both say that not many patients listen to their advice for bettering personal health. But damn near dying from a saddle block embolism is a motivator. 

My optometrist offered this narrative review on Vitamin K. Not many health care professionals go out of their way to inform patients of the "whys" of taking health supplements. My eye health has stabilized and improved because of this doctors personal care and professionalism.

Side story.

An older gentleman walked into the optometrists office the day of my appointment  and of course my wife chats him up. He said he was 92 years old and tripped over tongue of the trailer attached to his lawn mower the previous night at 9 PM. Fell on the cement and hit his head/right eye and looked a little bruised. Wanted to get a check up "from the doc." He admitted that he would no longer be mowing his lawn at dusk.


Pond yacht update.

Western red cedar top deck glued on model pond yacht and stained. First coat of varnish on the top deck, but the humidity prevents further finish work for awhile.

Mast, rigging and sail making in the month of June. Progress here as of this posting.

Appreciate your visit. Have a wonderful week.



Sunday, May 12, 2024


 "The Bat Wing" 20 foot folding decks shredder attached to a John Deer tractor.




Followed this receipe from the net for beef short ribs.

Saturday was a beautiful day here in east Texas. Why not fire up the pellet grill?

A few minutes shy of an 8-hour cook at 250 degrees F. Covered in foil for the last hour cooking and resting for 2 hours. Salt and black pepper rub only.

The bride insisted that the BBQ sauce be heated as that is the way it is done. I have never had beef ribs like this in my life. Four ribs were more than enough for two dinners for us. And yes, we will be doing this agaln. Finding the short ribs again though?

We found these 8 lbs of ribs by chance/accident at Wally World. There were just two available and should have purchased both of them. But they are spendy and we just did not know. The beef short rib is the cut with the most meat on the bones.

There is a lot of information on the net for pellet grilling anything.  My wife said these were the best beef ribs she has ever had and she is a Texas girl. 



Prepping and epoxy gluing of keel next. Then 3/8" yellow pine deck fitting and gluing. I think I am happy with the progress. Cannot find mahogany or cherry hard wood locally and will have to settle for the yellow pine decking and staining. The local stores call these "exotic woods" and say "we do not carry these."

I have found a local seamstdress who says she can make the sails for me. 

In exchange, she indicated there is a bird house she would love to have for her backyard. Along with this pond yacht project, I will be building a "never before built" bird house design for her. 

I will be on the road this next week for taking some measurements and photos of the bird house she wants. She already has the barn wood and old tin roofing for me. Gonna be fun. Pond yacht sails for a home made bird house. Seems like a deal to me. Both projects I enjoy building.

Of course, you will get to see that project, too. 



Thunder storms and rain every few days now. The land here is soaked as we go into the hot season. We are having success growing new grass and the mowed yards are a wonderful groomed green when our bi-weekly yard work is completed. I am a good tired at night and sleep like a baby. But the geting up in the morning comes with a few aches and some soreness. Walk it off!! OK.

Found on The Feral Irishman this week. THE PYLON MEN 

Look how young men attacked their work and jobs. Look at the equipment they were using and look at the attention to the days work/job. Those were the days, my friends. THOSE WERE THE DAYS 

It has been well over 5 years now since we have had any TV news on or listened to the media like we did in the previous years. We have tried from time to time to briefly find informaion on news breaking stories, but the talking heads are all new actors and the commercials help reinforce the reasons why we cannot stomach any of it. 

I again appreciate your visit. Nothing has changed for all the advice given here for so many years. We may all soon be in times of "old school" living. Do not throw that old stuff away and put in a few more jars of peanut butter, coffee and OTC basic meds. Build trusted relationships and work on skill sets. 

Have a blessed week.





Sunday, May 5, 2024


I have excuses for not keeping up with posting. A little lazy mixed with weather events.

The After is experiencing some of "the after" of a mini-EMP accompanying a nearby lightening strike last weekend. While bragging to my wife that the 30 hours of uneventful running on our home generator was about over and that it appeared that the last thunderstorm cell of the that stationary storm was just about to pass, a close lightening strike occurred a few hundred feet from the house.

A ripping, tearing sound and the bright light. A close lightening strike literally brought her and me out of our chairs. The internet went out which is normal in most of the big storms that pass through. And the utility power had been out for 30 hours and we were progressing just fine with the whole house generator. 

When the utility power had been restored, we noticed our neighbors lights were on meaning that the utility power to our home had also been restored. BUT, the generator was not shutting off. New problem on a Saturday night with no one to call for help. 

Shutting down the whole house generator means shutting the utility power off manually and then sticking a small metal rod with a protective rubber handle inside the transfer panel to move the switch to manual. Problem is that that operation comes with it a life-changing event should I miss the receptacle in the dark and hit one of the main wired electrical lines in that panel. 

I am old enough now for things like this to cause me pause and answer with a "hell no." Experience and all of that. I have been shocked before and never ever want that experience again. Sticking a small metal rod into 240 volt panel hoping to hit the correct connecting hole seemed fraught with the possibility of making that life-changing mistake. 

Longer story short, a master electrician had moved into the neighborhood two years ago. A short drive to his home brought his help and together, we safely turned off the generator and the flipped the main switch back on. All of that did entail removing the second safety panel from the transfer panel revealing all of the major electrical wiring that could fully cook a horse in an instant if misunderstood. 

In all of this early dark evening event, I managed to drive into and under a tree that had fallen across the road in my travels to the electrician's house. No damage, thank you.

There is truth in the old adage that nothing "bad" ever happens until the weekend or on a holiday. 

Adding to our immediate problem were the needs of all of the other 2,000+ folks who were also getting back their power from the long outage. 

We are still waiting in the queue for our electrician to arrive to help sort out the problems with the in home generator. 

Back to us, the wi-fi modem was fried, the CAT 5 lines were fried, my laptop lost the DMI port and one USB port, my wife's computer is still offline, our back-up lap top is still in the repair shop.

I could go on, but the mini EMP that accompanies all electrical strikes can wreak havoc on top of other storm damage. We currently seem to be in a reoccurring storm after storm after storm here in east Texas. 

However, we have adapted and are looking forward to getting the whole house generator and hard-wired internet working again.



If you are looking for new "stuff" to read and ponder, consider this blog site. You may just hate it, but drill down through some of the articles and you may find stories that will cause you to ponder the times ahead. 





12-gauge mild steel keel cut using a cardboard template by the local welding shop.

Western red cedar hull glued using marine epoxy. 

Tablesaw kerfs cut to help achieve bottom hull shape and battery jigsaw used to roughcut hull shape. 

Next is roughing out final hull shape and that gives me pause at this stage of the build. Since all of this is new to me, every planned step brings with it new questions that I need to address as one wrong move can set me back to starting all over. 

This process is called "off-hand" model construction and originated in the late 1800s. There are some general guidelines but at this stage, I am neither wrong nor right as I am the designer and builder. The end product will be unique and the boat's ability to sail correctly will teach me and answer many of the questions I have had along the way.

Suffice it to say, that this project is good for the head and I am having fun. Having fun is a good thing.



Passing storms have taken up our time these past two weeks. The model above has been a wonderful distraction. Working outside in the yards have also given my wife and me reasons to get out in the warm weather and work on yard improvements. Keeping busy and staying away from worldly concerns is very healthy.

Not to beat a dead horse, but crazy is coming with more on the horizon.  Live, love and plan.